Today’s passage: 2 Kings 17:1-41
- Israel has fallen.
- We are told why in verses 7-23.
- It was not an economic downturn. It was not poor military strategy. It was her rejection God.
- The king of Assyria exiled much of the people of Israel and settled the area with people from other lands. The new peoples intermarried with those of Israel who remained and became a new people group, the Samaritans.
- They treated God like the rest of their false gods. They did enough to think they had assuaged His anger, and blended their worship.
- Verse 33 seems to contain their perspective (Or at least their fear of consequence), while verse 34 speaks the whole truth.
- “The feared the Lord…they do not fear the Lord.”
- This new people group, after all Israel had been through, after having become a half-Jewish, half-Gentile group, was still given the opportunity to follow the Lord. They were not rejected from receiving the commands, but they rejected God just as Israel had since the days of Jeroboam I.
- The book of 2 Kings was written during the Babylonian Exile of Judah. When the writer says, “to this day” that is the day to which he refers.
- These are the Samaritans we read about in the Gospels during the days of Christ.
- There are still around 800 Samaritans living in Northern Israel today. They still have a variant version of Judaism they practice. They do not believe the Messiah has come.
Questions to consider:
- If the Israelites had felt that God was being unfaithful to Him, why would they have been wrong? How had God remained entirely faithful?
- Why should it not surprise us that God expected this new people to continue worshiping Him? Is there anyone on the face of the earth who would not be blessed to worship God?
- What is the result of truly fearing the Lord? How does a right fear draw us to Christ?